Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t ready to leave Los Angeles just yet. The former wrestler will ditch his helicopter in San Andreas and jump in a truck towards San Francisco’s Chinatown as he’ll star in and produce a remake of John Carpenter‘s cult-classic Big Trouble in Little China, a property once again set up at 20th Century Fox.
Johnson will play Jack Burton, an American-as-can-be truck driver who winds up fighting centuries-old Chinese entities within the back alleys and various abandoned buildings in San Francisco. Carpenter’s leading man of choice Kurt Russell frontlined the original film, but the 1986 feature only grossed $11.1 million from its $20 million production. Chances are Johnson will bring more cash to the new project, especially with the $54.5 million his last starring vehicle earned during its opening weekend.
Johnson’s producing partners, Dany and Hiram Garcia from Seven Bucks Productions, also are on board and were the ones who pitched this new re-imagining to the studio. Apparently the original is one of the actor’s favorite movies, although what he’ll bring to a new version is not yet clear. No director is attached yet, but X-Men: First Class co-scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz signed on to write the screenplay.
Quite frankly, what made the original Big Trouble so appealing was Carpenter’s controlled insanity on the project. So I’m not sure how another filmmaker could recapture it solely by trying to recreate it. For all its problems — and there are more than a few — it’s such a lovably eccentric action-western and by product of its time. Though it makes sense to try to redo, say, Escape From New York, the film’s balance between good-bad ’80s movie and genuinely well-made filmmaking will be a challenge to top, let alone equalize.
Still, Johnson has just as much chemistry as the original lead and his The Wrap]